Ongole (Andhra Pradesh), Nov 13 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh’s Prakasam district police arrested a temple treasure hunting duo for breaking into Sri Veerabhadra Swamy temple in Tarlupadu, a month after the crime on Friday.

Police arrested Duru Vajrala Babu, 30, and Nallur Ravi, 34, for breaking the temple’s urn on October 17 in search of treasures.

Following the break-in, the temple’s executive officer E. Chennakesava Reddy lodged a complaint with the police.

Prakasam Superintendent of Police (SP) Siddhartha Kaushal formed three teams to nab the thieves, who pored over crime records in Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore districts.

They juxtaposed all the photographs with the images harvested from the cctv footage to zero in on the culprits as Babu and Ravi from Pedapudi village in Amruthalur mandal of Guntur district.

Monitoring the movements of the duo, police traced them near the railway station on Kambhan Road to take them into custody on Friday.

On interrogation, police learnt that the two got acquainted with Shiva Prasad and a priest named Ramakrishnachari from Hyderabad, who all ganged up to form a team.

“They have a superstitious belief that if they worship and dig in old temples, they will find treasures and diamonds. With that belief and the encouragement of the above three, the arrested two accused broke into the temple,” said a police official.

Police exuded confidence to arrest the other two gang members as well soon.

According to police, Babu was earlier accused in a murder case and a chain snatching case.

Meanwhile, to nip crime in the bud in Prakasam district, Kaushal installed more than 1,400 surveillance cameras in all the temples, set up committees with volunteers, women police and village elders.

“Similarly, 4,455 suspects were bound over to prevent any crime in the district. Prakasam district police are taking all measures for the security of the temples,” said the official.

–IANS

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